PFAS-laced water caused infertility, premature births and low birthweight, study says
September 10, 2020
Oakdale residents who drank water polluted with toxic "forever chemicals" experienced elevated rates of infertility, premature births and low birthweight babies due to the contaminants, according to a multiyear review of health records.
The authors of the peer-reviewed research, published in April in the journal Environmental Health, say it's the first to establish a causal link between the chemicals and reproductive impacts. It could be evidence in scores of lawsuits attempting to hold manufacturers, such as Maplewood-based 3M Co. and DuPont, accountable for alleged health and environmental damages.
Philippe Grandjean, a leading researcher on the chemicals at Harvard University, discussed the paper in a webinar Wednesday, explaining that the Washington County suburb became a "natural experiment." That's because there were significant measurable differences in the health outcomes before and after Oakdale installed a filtration facility in 2006 to remove the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the municipal water supply.